Tag Archives: survival

The Climate Movement: What’s Next?

In June 2019, the Great Transition Initiative (GTI) organization sponsored a major forum The Climate Movement: What’s Next? which “takes stock [of] and debates strategy for a vital new phase in the struggle for a livable, resilient planet.” From my perspective, the organization is highly reputable, and I believe the contributions to be very valuable, worth repeating at least in brief précis form.

The contributors were asked to “weigh in on three core questions”:

  • What is the climate movement’s state of play?
    What has worked, and where has the movement fallen short?
  • System change, not climate change?
    Does defusing the crisis require deep structural and value changes, or can “green capitalism” get us there?
  • Do we need a meta-movement?
    Does the climate movement need to build overarching alliances with environmental, peace, and justice movements?

Although they are all available on the single website, I have decided to list them individually to highlight the scope of the discussion.

The Climate Movement: What’s Next?

Opening Reflections, Bill McKibben

A good summary of the shift from naiveté to the strong emergence of the climate justice focus of modern environmentalists. If we are to survive as a species, major changes are needed.

The Larger Struggle: Mitigating Capitalism, Hans Baer

A discussion of the complexity of many players at the table, with a major emphasis on the need for a new type of socialism offering true reform of the huge issues facing our civilization.

Charting how we get there, Guy Dauncey

A very good summary of the many steps (via a developmental model) that will be required for us to move to a healthy outcome, recognizing how grim the situation actually is and yet focused on solutions rather than despair.

Life-affirming carbon capture, Neva Goodwin

A response to the growing consensus of the need to remove massive amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, some methods very positive (mainly orientated to soil restoration), others very dubious and dangerous (mainly promoted by the fossil fuel industry).

Report from the European front, Virág Kaufer

The climate debate in most European countries is at a crossroads, caught between progressives and political agendas, many of which are “hostage to the corrupted and corporate-captured national governments.”

Bringing the force of the law, Hermann Ott

A hard look at the need for strong assertion against those who “suffocate new developments and prevent them from growing,” implementing compliance with existing regulations together with writing new and better laws for climate protection.

Being the change, change the world, Karl-Ludwig Schibel

“[T]he only way to win is to act on the changes we want to see in the world.”

The dramaturgy of transformation, Mimi Stokes

A fascinating description of how we, as well the ancient Greeks, have failed to address our hubris, and how our cultural hopes of colonialism, capitalism and technology have reversed into tragedy, for all, including elites and deniers. Using the modern theory of tragic fates, we need to turn our wounds into gifts, creating a new global culture and planetary civilization.

Planetizing the movement, Tom Athanasiou

“I have been asking people what they think has changed in the last year, and why. Most seem to agree that something has definitely shifted. . . . We are in very serious trouble, and there is no way forward unless we admit it.” Yet, we need a meta-movement — we need to get serious about transitional justice, a truly international justice system.

The movement enters a new phase, Jeremy Brecher

“The climate movement in the US and around the world has gone through two main phases and is entering a third: . . . [first] the confirmation of man-made global warming. . . . [and second] a direct action movement . . . using civil disobedience targeting fossil fuel infrastructure to mobilize opposition.” The third “represent[s] a shift to using direct action techniques against governments and politicians, and expresses the massive activity around the Green New Deal (GND) in the US and Leap Manifesto in Canada. The article explores the strengths and weaknesses of the GND, the possibility of a meta-movement that will unite the various disparate parties.

A caring economy is key, Riane Eisler

“[T]o bring about systems change and effectively address climate change requires a closer look at the question of change from precisely what kind of system to what kind of system. . . . Through today’s technologies of destruction and exploitation, traditions of domination may lead to our species’ extinction. But we can change our course and bring about a Great Transition if we focus on root causes rather than symptoms.”

Renewables are not enough, Kerryn Higgs

“The biggest obstacles to success in limiting global warming to 2°C above pre-industrial (or, even more hopefully, 1.5°C) are the vested interests that oppose this endeavor. The problem is political. . . . No real solution can be established while corporate capitalism remains the dominant economic system almost everywhere on earth. It’s a system that demands consumption for the sake of expansion rather than serving actual human needs.”

On personal and political agency, Karen O’Brien

A brief yet comprehensive description of the nature of system change.

Moving from resistance to repair, Vicki Robin

“The climate movement has excelled at resistance but is missing a crucial, essential element: a focus on repair. It is clear about what it is against, but largely mum on a restoration project equal to the scale of climate change damage. . . . we humans act upon the earth for our benefit, but we do not act with the earth for healing all life. What is the earth healing path?” We need a justice movement that repairs for future generations.

Imploding the carbon economy, Gus Speth

“[S]omething is happening here today. The level of public, media and political attention is not nearly where it should be, but there some hopeful signs of movement in the right directions.” We need “an induced implosion of the carbon economy. , , , Our job is to make it happen, using all the tools we have.”

A climate emergency plan, Anders Wijkman

“While the tone of the debate has changed, people in general—here I include most policymakers—do not fully understand the difference between “incrementalism” (the weak mitigation policies so far pursued) and “transformation” (the deeper mitigation we desperately need).” Major actions in multiple domains are needed.

12 Years, Much Less Actually

Uphill1We are running out of time. The 2018 IPCC report, for example, indicates we have until about 2030 (12 years, not 11) before we exhaust out climate budget for staying below 1..5°C, our best chance of avoiding major tipping points. Many believe that to be an optimistic assessment, such that we have perhaps much less time. Even then, the need of political action (not talk!) will take significant time,, such that we likely need to make major changes within the next 18 months (especially with the coming US elections being a major player here).

Even if we are able to do so, we still face the immense task of dismantling our entire capitalist based civilization to create processes of equity, together with all the other consequences of our over-population and how we have mismanaged our world. A lot of work, yet necessary.

Recent links that I recommend.

Greta Thunberg speech in Assemblée Nationale (20190723)

An excellent talk by Greta Thunberg! Complete honesty, brevity, and a very good command of the relevant facts from the IPCC report, 2018.

Climate change: 12 years to save the planet? Make that 18 months (20190724)

Another recognition that we only have a very limited time to establish the appropriate polity for safety of our species and many others.

Deniers deflated as climate reality hits home (20190807)

Progress is slow and the world is gradually coming to recover from the disinformation issues. In time? Who knows?

In order to understand the brutality of American capitalism, you have to start on the plantation. (20190814)

A detailed and disturbing account of how the brutality of modern (American) capitalism is a direct outcome of the processes that began with the accounting systems of slavery in the 17th and 18th centuries. Sad. Essential reading, very disturbing. What narrative will allow us to value ecology over economics; what narrative will allow us to value the intrinsic richness of what God (by any name) offers. I have no idea!

From dumpster to diesel: How a pilot project in Whitby is turning plastic waste into fuel (20190813)

On the lighter side, more positive. An interesting use of plastic waste by converting it to diesel fuel and gasoline. The article also names that the reduction of plastic usage and/or the complete conversion to recyclable plastics is essential to our future. Certainly something needs to be done with the incredible accumulation of plastics. I have two major reservations with the current process: first, how much energy (i.e., other fossil fuels) is used in the conversion, and second, usage of the newly converted fuel simply goes into the environment as any other fossil fuel usage. A more ecologically appropriate means of plastic usage is needed.

Our Uncertain Future

Anxiety2Resilience.org has recently presented an excellent forum entitled Uncertain Future Forum (20190715-20190726) highlighting “If collapse is imminent, how do we respond? Each is short, succinct, and pertinent to the issues.

Dancing with Grief, Dahr Jamail, 20190715

I have the greatest respect for Jamail as one of the most authentic writers of the issues of climate disruption. For me, this essay is one of his best.

Turning Toward Each Other, Meghan Kallman, 20190716

The need for community is our highest need, yet we are so poor at cooperation in this culture. We have a long way to go.

The Disabled Planet, Taylor Brorby, 20190717

An excellent comparison between individual health-disability and planetary health-disability, our need to recognize the huge inequalities inherent in modern capitalism.

The Seventh Fire, Winona LaDuke, 20190718

There is a huge need to access indigenous knowledge and skills, but for me, the risk is that they will simply become part of the capitalist system.

Responding to Collapse: Uncertain Future Forum’s First Week, Daniel Lerch, 20190719

The bottom line: collaborate with others, be in community, tend to yourself.

On Listening to the Earth, Dahr Jamail, 20190722

How do we list for truth, our own truth of how to respond to the coming crisis?

Three Practices for a Time of Crisis, Meghan Kallman, 20190723

We need new practices: the practice of grieving so as to make space within, the practice of holding painful paradox, the practice of effective hope (somewhere between idealism and pragmatism where what we do might matter).

Biting the Hand That’s Fed Me, Taylor Brorby, 20190724

It is time to stop the insanity that has been so beneficial to us.

Find Your Mettle, Winona LaDuke, 20190725

Courage is needed.

Responding to Collapse: Uncertain Future Forum Wrap-Up, Asher Miller, 20170926

We have an obligation!

We Are Failing As A Culture

What follows are a multitude of links to the many aspects of how we are failing as a culture. Each is well written from my perspective.

I am aware that more and more we are talking about the climate crisis, yet we are still mainly at the stage of talking; we still fail to come together in collaborative ways, and as has been said many times, the window of opportunity is closing.

The first notes we have only 14 months to respond! The 2018 UN IPCC Panel indicated (in its highly conservative mode) what we must respond within 12 years; however, if the US does not get on board within the next election period, that window is likely not achievable, thus we only have 14 months to respond.

Not a good picture.

We don’t have 12 years to save the climate. We have 14 months. (20170726)

Leadership from the United States is required if the crisis of climate disruption is to be challenged — and this depends on the political state of the next presidential election, with all its consequences of dissension. What a mess!

We’re Failing Our Kids – Climate Emergency, 20190521

Asher Miller, Post-Carbon Institute Executive Director, presents a deeply vulnerable presentation of his fears for his children, together with the need for collaboration.

Do Americans Know How Much Trouble They’re In? (20190604)

An excellent article on the survival of democracy: a leader above the law, the abrogation of political access, the development of a pariah state all point to a potential tipping point in the continuing existence of political freedom for all.

Austerity and inequality fueling mental illness, says top UN envoy (20190624)

An excellent article — if we are to heal as a species, we must begin to address the overwhelming discordances created by capitalism, especially neoliberalism. Amongst other issues, the inequity of poverty fuels the many problems related to mental health.

Shifts in tourists’ sentiments and climate risk perceptions following mass coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef (20190624)

The varied responses to the impact of climate disruption on the world’s largest barrier reef point to the complexity needed in our response to this crisis.

Seeing Isn’t Believing: The Fact Checker’s Guide To Manipulated Video (20190625)

An interesting attempt by the Washington Post to identify and categorize the sophistication of modern misinformation. Technically I find the article difficult to follow (I would need much more detail and time) but I applaud the intention to clarify the many ways of distortion.

Fighting climate change may be cheaper and more beneficial than we think (20190710)

CBC News in Canada is gradually identifying features of climate disruption, often with a positive spin. There is certainly some benefit to this. However I have been deeply influenced by what I call The Force Field of Change, wherein change takes into account both positive features that move us toward a vision and negative forces that stop us. Unfortunately, until we deal with the negatives (our profound fear of climate disruption and our unwillingness to identify it), the impact of the negatives generally blocks the effect of the positives. I also believe that it is truly disrespectful of the vast majority of human beings to “protect” them from the painful truth that is climate disruption, on the assumption that it will overwhelm them — we need to deal with our grief!

Finally, I am aware of a number of significant forums in the past few months, forums that are willing to name the hard truths of what we face. I will be summarizing these in the next few weeks. I have had my own struggles with the painful truths over the past month or so.

More to come!

A Strange Culture

Acedia3My news sources have recently been dominated by American politics related either to a) what to do about the Mueller report or  b) speculation about presidential promises of the hopeful. For the most part, I have lost interest in both of these as I have no way of discerning important information from speculation. Canada is also gearing up for election so Canadian news also has lots of promises. However a small number of articles have attracted my attention, so I offer a potpourri on this occasion — we live in a strange culture of fearfulness, laziness, and self-righteousness.

Leading the Public into Emergency Mode: Introducing the Emergency Climate Movement (201905)

A well-written statement of what needs to happen for our civilization to survive the coming apocalypse. As evidenced by the Extinction Rebellion success in the UK and the increasing number of cities throughout the world who are at least espousing a climate emergency, we are gradually moving in this direction.

Scared About City Chemicals? Don’t Be. She Did Every Test in the Book. (20190528)

An excellent article on the complexity of our exposure to toxic chemicals within our environment. The title unfortunately belies the seriousness of the issue; in particular, the article names our cultural ignorance of a) at what level do we consider chemicals to be toxic as well as b) our even greater ignorance of synergistic interaction between toxins.

The Wealth Detective Who Finds the Hidden Money of the Super Rich (20190523)

A fascinating description of how much money is hidden, and how it is hidden, by the world’s wealthy. As of 2016, the top 0.1% hold 20% of American wealth and the top 1% hold 39%, surging (more than doubling) after the economic decisions of the 1980s. For me, these are staggering figures, and an indictment of the ills of capitalism.

¿Truths? Part 15

Dave’s ¿Truths?

CogDiss01The final post of ¿Truths?

As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

The following thoughts of Charlotte Kasl seem very appropriate stances.

The 16-Steps

(1) We affirm we have the power to take charge of our lives and stop being dependent on substances or other people for our self-esteem and security.

  • An alternative:  We admit/acknowledge we are out of control with/powerless over ________, yet we have the power to take charge of our lives and stop being dependent on substances or other people for our self-esteem and security.

(2) We come to believe that God/Goddess/Universe/Great Spirit/Higher Power awakens the healing wisdom within us when we open ourselves to the power.

(3) We make a decision to become our authentic selves, and trust in the healing power of the truth.

(4) We examine our beliefs, addictions and dependent behavior in the context of living in a hierarchical, patriarchal culture.

(5) We share with another person and the Universe all those things inside of us for which we feel shame and guilt.

(6) We affirm and enjoy our intelligence, strengths and creativity, remembering not to hide these qualities from ourselves and others.

(7) We become willing to let go of shame, guilt, and any behavior that keeps us from loving ourselves and others.

(8) We make a list of people we have harmed and people who have harmed us, and take steps to clear out negative energy by making amends and sharing our grievances in a respectful way.

(9) We express love and gratitude to others, and increasingly we appreciate the wonder of life and the blessings we do have.

(10) We learn to trust our reality, and daily affirm that we see what we see, we know what we know and we feel what we feel.

(11) We promptly admit to mistakes and make amends when appropriate, but we do not say we are sorry for things we have not done and we do not cover up, analyze, or take responsibility for the shortcomings of others.

(12) We seek out situations, jobs, and people who affirm our intelligence, perceptions and self-worth and avoid situations or people who are hurtful, harmful, or demeaning to us.

(13) We take steps to heal our physical bodies, organize our lives, reduce stress, and have fun.

(14) We seek to find our inward calling, and develop the will and wisdom to follow it.

(15) We accept the ups and downs of life as natural events that can be used as lessons for our growth.

(16) We grow in awareness that we are sacred beings, interrelated with all living things, and we contribute to restoring peace and balance on the planet.

That’s it for my ¿Truths?

Finally! A long list (hopefully you enjoyed it).

Almost certainly there is more to come (sometime in the future).

¿Truths? Part 14

Dave’s ¿Truths?

Truth3As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting (now almost at the end).

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

(353 — Continuing from previous) So much of cultural/societal tradition encourages me to do good; I validate this.

(354) To be human is truly to encompass the human process—not the journey that I demand happen (being willful), but the journey to which I need surrender (being willing).

(355) Other people have done this journey before me—they can guide me. I can learn from them, and I have to do my own journey.

Guides come in many forms—most important for me is whether or not they have done their own journeying!! If they have, they offer me an example of integration; if they haven’t, they offer me beliefs (and shoulds)! I can read about shoulds in a book.

At some point(s), I need a guide—they can help me know what I do not know! They have been here before.

(356) Why do this journey? Why plan? Why work hard at living?

As a pattern generator, somehow I delight in a good map. And if I do not do this work, I suffer—a lot! I have choice about this!

(357) There are two major measures of the journey.

The first involves the development of humility, compassion and respect—for myself and others. Nobody is perfect and we all attempt to do the best we can. We all fall down.

The first measure is how quickly we get up, from an authentic fall to an authentic stance of getting up, not avoiding the pain!

The second measure is how we respond when others fall down.

(358) To be flexible with craziness (my own and yours’s) is also a true measure of maturity.

(359) There are two major measures of truths, including these truths!

  • how inclusive is the truth. Who is excluded?
  • how persuasive is the truth. How do I resonate with it?

(360) I seek the current edge of my truths; I chew on my own truths until I am complete with them. Two areas currently occupy my attention.

  • I am clear that much of the/my therapeutic process is beneficial; I am less clear as to its harmful elements.
    • This is still true in my “retirement.”
  • In giving voice to my energy, what is the appropriate balance of my private inner world and the part of me that needs to be heard in the public domain.
    • In my retirement, I am choosing to give more attention to the public. I want my grand-children to know that I did not accept the current insanity of our species, especially in the negatives associated with scientism and consumerism.

(361) Aspects of guiding/therapy are harmful. Some of my ways of harm are —

  • I attempt to be a mentor, assisting others on their unique journeys. I do not do it perfectly—I make mistakes. I do not intentionally abuse others yet the potential is there, especially with mistakes in judgment. As well, I know that therapist-client abuse is a major societal issue at present.
    • When is my therapy abusive?
  • For the most part, I teach the skills of the inward journey. This is valuable and, I believe, essential to being a presence in the world. Yet I am myself not fully satisfied with the balance of inner/outer; sometimes I get stuck in being too inward, in not being public appropriately.
    • Do I trap my clients in the same way?
  • Often I use metaphor, the “inner child” or “sailors on a ship” as an example. Metaphor provides a frame to understand and experience. I am clear with myself that this is simply a model to aid understanding, yet I often get stuck in understanding, as opposed to action.
    • Do I trap my clients in this way also? Understanding (actually overstanding, as used by society) is the booby prize!

(362) I believe that each guide/therapist has his/her own ways of causing harm.

(363) A growing edge for me is to be public in an appropriate fashion, to challenge the stance of others, the judgments of others, in a way that speaks my truth!

Fritz Perls said that “The only authentic statement is a demand!” For me, this is partly true; another authentic statement is “I stand here.”

(364) The more something bothers me, the more I have to learn about myself (this is an aspect of the pointing finger).

What is the troublesome aspect? How does it reflect my own issues?

(365) Human beings are creative! The above truths can be the basis of a very powerful life, with much choice and much joy.

(366) ACT!

I work/play so as to accept (A) what/who I cannot change (especially other human beings), change (C) what/who I can (especially myself), and treat (T) myself well in the process. I only have now (!) in which to do this.

(367) The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

(368) The bog! The pit! Yuk!! How did I get in, this time, again.

Being confused in some fashion, often lazy or fearful. Saying “Yes” when I mean “No.” Following “shoulds”, my own or others.

(369) The bog! The pit! Yuk!! How do I get out, this time, again.

Clarity/choice/voice, especially choosing! ACT! Saying/doing “No” when I mean “No.” Saying/doing “Yes” when I mean “Yes.” Self-care, treating myself well!

(370) I still have choice about that which I cannot change.

A major choice involves whether I will continue to suffer or not!

Acceptance does not mean no pain; it means diminished suffering. And it is an active process, not a passive surrender: valuing the benefits, modifying as possible the costs. Living the Serenity Prayer.

(371) Human beings are magical. The above truths are not, and do not need to be, consistent—living is paradoxical.

To live fully, I need on occasion to step outside the bounds of rationality.

(372) Some additional thoughts—

  • How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
  • I have many questions, and only a few answers.
  • The truth will set you free but first, it will make you miserable (and afterwards, it will bind you!)
  • Honesty without compassion is disguised hostility!
  • I will go as far as I can see; then I will be able to see further!
  • Don’t confuse activity with achievement!
  • 3Ds — desire, determination and discipline; 3Ps — patience, persistence and positive; 3Cs — courage, commitment and confidence
  • Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get!
  • Do I contradict myself; very well then, I contradict myself. I am large; I contain multitudes. (Walt Whitman)
  • The Chinese pictogram for ‘Crisis’ has been said to mean both danger and opportunity!

(373) You cannot clarify repeated miscommunication by communicating further about it.

Gregory Bateson (and later, Robert Dilts expanded upon) the Logical Levels of Experience (Environment, Behavior, Capabilities, Beliefs, Values, Identity, and Spiritual), a holarchy of processes such that significant change at one level requires modification at a higher level.

Repeated miscommunication is a Behavior, and requires change at the Capability or Belief or higher level rather than more communication.

(374) You have hit bottom when you stop digging!

To be continued — one more to go!

¿Truths? Part 13

Dave’s ¿Truths?

Truth2As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

(329 — continuing from previous) These imperatives also form a rich basis for ethical judgment. To ignore them is evil or, at the very least, borders on evil.

(330) Everything has an appropriate context somewhere/sometime. That which expands is that which contributes to growth.

(331) A moral/ethical stance does not suppress choice, but educates and allows liberty, encourages growth and fosters relationship. Life exists in relationship.

(332) Beyond all this, I believe that there exists a profound direct experience with mystery, being at one with the universe, called enlightenment or nirvana (as well as many other names).

I have experienced it—and I trust the validity of the experience.

Apparently a gift of mystery, unearned and perhaps not available as gift to everyone, this journey of life serves to allow the gift to be received and held without willfulness!

(333) The ultimate human journey is to live in joy and glory, free from alienation, in selfless service to life!

Paradoxically, I believe that I achieve this most effectively by ensuring my own growth, my own truths, my own pleasure and play.

(334) To be effective is to be loving and playful.

(335) I am not a human being on a spiritual journey; I am a spiritual being on a human journey!

My major work is to be grounded, so that I can then fly with the eagles.

(336) God doesn’t care if I work every day; God cares if I live every day.

(337) A life of sanctity is one in which I give thanks! To truly give thanks is to be in the presence of mystery and awe!

(338) My best working hypothesis of life is this—mystery (God) is all-present and all-knowing, yet lacks wisdom.

We are each a hologram of God—as humans, we are God’s teachers. Each of us is a set of possibilities that may become effective as a human being; in the struggle, God can learn wisdom.

(339) God don’t make no junk!

(340) I am capable of every experience, every act, no matter how heinous.

I don’t however have to act it! I have choice. The same is true of you, another individual!

The price tags may be different, though.

(341) The struggle to live fully is painful. From my perspective, I may not succeed; I may make poor choices. From God’s perspective, I am a contribution to God—and I am loved.

(342) What is the bottom line? For me, the bottom line is that I live in such a way that:

  • I act in a way that is consistent with what I say I want,
  • I live into my wanting what I get,
  • I have integrity in my core moralities, and
  • I have compassion, humility, and respect with others.

(343) For me, one of the better ways of thinking about God is contained in a puzzle called the 9-dot puzzle

Form 9 dots into a square, with one in the middle. Join the 9 dots with 4 straight lines without taking your pen off the paper.

Ask me about the answer if you get stuck. You need to step outside the box!

(344) God is useless!! God cannot be used.

I can be used by God though.

Especially God cannot be used as an excuse or an explanation of why I do not live my journey!

(345) From God’s perspective, it is likely that nothing will be used in evidence against me!

(346) The sign of God is that I will be led where I did not intend to go!

In quite unexpected ways, life presents me with opportunities and/or choices I did not expect, sometimes pleasurable, sometimes painful.

The occurrences seem more often than I would expect in a meaningless universe. When they occur, I am struck by how meaningful they are to me! This is called synchronicity.

(347) There are no quick fixes! Life is a journey and even the most rapid growth requires 5-10 years of effort!

(348) If I always do what I have always done, I will always get what I have always gotten.

(349) The journey has at least several stages.

One stage is the psychological journey (the willful journey), a stage of ego development in which I learn to say “I am! I can! I will!” This is the stage in which I struggle with my parents, with what I have been given in life, a stage where my emotions often rule (either consciously or unconsciously).

This is a necessary stage, being willful of myself. Difficulty occurs when I become willful of others as a substitute for my own growth.

(350) Another stage is the spiritual journey (the willing journey), a stage of ego transcendence in which I learn to initiate choice, a stage in which the moral imperative is chosen, a stage where the universe seems in charge.

Jesus said it as “If it is possible, let this cup be taken from me; if not, Thy will, Oh Lord!”. Many others have said it similarly.

(351) Essential to both of these stages is to learn what I think and feel, what my ongoing awareness actually is; it is often painful. The second component is then to learn what to do with my awareness, what actions are effective.

This is a life-time process!

(352) A third stage appears to be the possibility of experiencing the gift of Mystery.

The earlier growth perhaps allows the gift to be sustained.

(353) So much of cultural/societal tradition encourages me to do good; I validate this.

However, to feel good needs to be a major underlying basis of doing good; otherwise I am likely to be trapped in resentment or guilt.

I choose to feel good rather than do good as my approach to life.

To be continued — almost done!

¿Truths? Part 11

Dave’s ¿Truths?

As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

(278 — Continuing from previous) What gets my attention gets me!

 (279) Society has the potential to offer much in the way of authentic living—affection, validation, contribution (participation), and earnings.

Often this does not occur.

Is it fair? (What is the agreement that I have with society?)

(280) In general, this society does not validate authentic living—authentic living is unpredictable.

Authentic living is usually a risk against the cultural model! It is judged stupid or inappropriate (the crab trap). We lack ways of safe expression (of all emotions, but especially rage), Our current ways of handling/denying rage frequently contribute to the violation of one person by another.

As a society, we need new ways of being human.

(281) I want to live authentically, getting what I say I want. How?

Am I starting from the optimal place?

(282) For me, the best definition for happiness is ‘wanting what I get’—note the differences from ‘getting what I want.’

(283) I get trapped in my emotions when I experience them in ways that leave me powerless — shame, despair, raging amongst others.

All emotion has a positive intent for me — when I determine and validate that positive intent (security, searching, caring), I am empowered.

(284) Anger and rage are for me paradoxical—they are both the most dangerous, and the most cleansing, of emotions. Dangerous when denied, and most cleansing when used effectively.

I am angry when my boundaries are invaded without my permission — and as a human being, I have very complex boundaries. I am enraged when I am simultaneously powerless and my fundamental beliefs of identity and spirit are denied.

(285) To be safe means to be free from damage ¾ danger, or injury, or the risk of damage. To be secure means to be free from apprehension.

Safety does not mean security! Security does not mean safety!

(286) To be safe with my anger/rage means that I am responsible for consequences, and that I am committed to safety.

(287) I have three rules for my anger/rage, summarized in the acronym ‘No SAD!’ When in anger/rage:

    • I will not intentionally scare (S) another human being.
    • I will not attack (A), physically or emotionally, another biological creature.
    • I will not destroy (D) in anger that which I would not destroy in peace.

(288) I do not give myself, nor do I give others, permission to ignore these rules, unless life is being threatened.

I will not violate others intentionally, unless it is very clear that I am being violated in a life-threatening manner.

(289) The second fundamental of safety is “STOP”.

Saying “STOP” means that someone, usually the person saying “stop,” does not feel secure, and is requesting that all threatening action cease until both safety and security are re-established.

It is essential that this be honored¾the overlap between safety and security is unclear at this time.

(290) When I am in internal conflict, I frequently experience this as external conflict in relationship.

The more I am willing to sort and integrate my internal conflicts, finishing what is unfinished, the more I open myself to love and play.

(291) When I point my finger at you, when I blame you, I am powerless.

A powerful metaphor is present in this process—with my finger pointing at you, my thumb stands up, and three fingers point at me! The thumb represents the issue—it needs to be handled, and it is as much part of me as it is of you. My three fingers remind me that

    • what I critique in you is also true of me, often more so,
    • it is easier for me to blame you than to examine myself, and
    • if I change and act more effectively, the issue will also change, and you might also change too!

(292) An effective leader is one who demonstrates the least blame (thereby avoiding focus on the third limb).

(293) My society is a society of violence and alienation.

I have no major issue with violence—life is violent.

My society is frequently a society of violation—I do not condone violation.

Violation occurs when freedom is restricted without permission. For me, this is only permissible in the interests of public safety—this is generally called ‘law.’

(294) My society is misogynist and sex-negative.

Growth however leads to vibrant sexuality, and is both time-consuming and demanding of authenticity.

(295) My society is child-negative.

Children are our resources, both for the future, and for many of the skills we have lost. They have their own wisdom.

(296) My society promotes knowledge and understanding.

I have no quarrel with knowledge—wisdom necessitates knowledge, accuracy of map to territory. Yet as a society, we are trapped by too much information, too much knowledge, too many options.

I also have no quarrel with understanding—authentic understanding means “to stand under,” to experience self as part of something bigger.

(297) As a society, we value “overstanding” (attempting to dominate) more than “understanding,” and “information” more than “knowledge.”

(298) My society has made major errors, especially as to the nature of power.

Fundamentally there are two choices:

    • becoming willful: domination, or
    • becoming willing: cooperation

(299) Through domination, I can be willful, developing a culture based on power and technology, on empire and slave (with many subtle euphemisms to hide what is actually happening).

Actions do however speak louder than words. Using domination, I gain significant mastery of life, with major advantages. The cost is loss of humanity, loss of relationship with the universe. Much of post-European society has followed this track.

(300) The other way is by being willing, to observe and track life, with little intervention or technology. My relatedness increases. I am at risk of starvation! Other cultures, notably the original North American native, have followed this track. Major consequences occurred during the interplay of cultures!

(301) Somehow there is a balance. (!!!???) Not easy, but then life is not designed to be easy. Life is!

Given that we overall have chosen domination, the task now is to develop power over power, to learn to use power for the purpose of cooperation. Given the self-righteous greed of domination, this will be a difficult path.

(302) I am a part of society. Am I part of the solution, or part of the problem?

(303) I am not a machine. I have inherent variability, within myself (including illness) and outside myself (compared to you).

I am programmable, especially during early childhood when my brain is developing (this is also perhaps when my mind is developing, at least the inter-relatedness between my mind and my brain).

Is the program appropriate?

(304) Part of the program includes my learning of terror and trust.

To be continued.

To What Do We Devote Ourselves

Acedia3As readers of this blog will know, I am a member of The Climate Mobilization. I strongly believe that we face an existential crisis as a species, and that we are at risk of extinction, especially if we delay action for too long a period. Gradually major organizations, cities, and countries are coming to this realization; gradually our culture is shifting. But, as with most big issues, confusion abounds and many fuzzy feel-good statements flourish. The bottom line is to what will we devote ourselves.

I personally work to alleviate suffering as this is where my skill set lies. And I work to open  discussion of what to do — that is the purpose of this blog.

The following links address some of these issues.

UK Parliament declares climate change emergency (20190501)

Slowly the world is waking to the need to respond. Hopefully the waking is associated with definitive action.

Don’t say ‘climate emergency’ in vain! (target setting in the climate emergency) (20190505)

An excellent summary of the confusion that can arise when we are not clear as to what we mean by ‘climate emergency.’ And it truly is an emergency!

The battle against climate change by Paul Kingsnorth (20190426)

Worth watching. Simply one intelligent man attempting to cope, he having been a major activist in his youth. The whole basis of my PhD dissertation was that climate disruption is not a technological issue; it is a psycho-spiritual issue. I am heartened to see it identified as such in this video.

Climate Crisis Forces Us to Ask: To What Do We Devote Ourselves? (20190506)

A journalist whom I respect asks “From this moment on, knowing what is happening to the planet, to what do I devote my life? A moment by moment issue!